I have a mild obsession with bulgur wheat at the moment. It is deliciously nutty and has such a wonderful texture, not to mention the amazing health benefits.
As a whole grain it is a naturally high-fibre, low-fat and low-calorie food. Bulgur hasn’t been stripped of its bran and germ, which are where many of the nutrients are actually stored within a whole grain. Therefore, it is unrefined and an excellent source of fibre, protein and manganese. It is, however, not gluten-free. Having said that, my sister, who is slightly gluten-intolerant, can handle this bulgur salad with ease.
Bulgur wheat is extremely quick and easy to cook too.
Serves 4 (as a side)
• 1 cup bulgur wheat
• 2 cups water
• 1 Tbsp organic vegetable or chicken stock, or 1 stock cube
• 300g cherry tomatoes (I used red and yellow), halved
• ½ cup mint, chopped
• ¼ cup chives, chopped
• ¼ cup Italian parsley, chopped
• 3 Tbsp capers, washed and roughly chopped
• 1 packet green olives, pitted and roughly chopped
• 5 cloves garlic – roast skin on with tomatoes
• 1 lemon (zest and juice)
• 3 Tbsp olive oil
• Salt and pepper to taste
1 Preheat your oven to 200°C.
2 Place the tomatoes and garlic on a greased baking sheet; coat with 1 Tbsp olive oil and a good amount of salt and pepper. Roast until tomatoes are slightly browned on the edges and soft – 20-25 minutes.
3 Boil the bulgur wheat in exactly two cups of water and the stock powder for 10 minutes, or just until the water is absorbed. Take off the heat and stir through with a fork. Keep giving it a few stirs until cooled. At this stage, don’t worry about it looking like the grains are stuck together; as it cools, the grains will separate.
4 Once cooled, add the chopped mint, parsley, chives, cherry tomatoes and green olives.
5 For the dressing, whisk together the remaining olive oil, capers, roasted garlic squeezed out of the skin, lemon juice and zest. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over the bulgur wheat and mix through.
6 Enjoy with grilled fish, chicken or even as a meal on its own.
Make sure the garlic is well coated with olive oil before roasting.
The bulgur wheat will look as if it has turned slightly glutinous and sticky, but don’t worry; as it cools, it will separate.
Don’t overcook it; once the water is absorbed, it’s cooked.
You can add any herbs or vegetables to this salad.
Chopped anchovy added to the dressing makes a wonderful addition.